British Comedy Guide

The Armstrong & Miller Show. Image shows from L to R: Alexander Armstrong, Ben Miller. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions / Toff Media.

The Armstrong & Miller Show

BBC One sketch show. 19 episodes (3 series), 2007 - 2010. Stars Alexander Armstrong, Ben Miller, David Armand, Karen Hayley, Jim Howick, Katherine Jakeways, Lucy Montgomery and others.

Press Clippings

Mostly Armstrong and Miller specialise in likeable character comedy, but tonight there are a couple of topical/observational sketches that sharpen their edge a bit. There's a great scene of life at a junk email company as it welcomes a new employee, and another imagining a government campaign to stop people saying "Whatever happened to global warming, eh?" every time it rains. The old favourites are on good form, too. The vampires struggle with a nightclub bouncer, while the RAF pilots are in trouble over their attempt to crack the Enigma code. They worked it out, they assure their superior officer, "using all like, maths and long division and times-ing..." Meanwhile, Ben Miller's most tragic character is back, too: the one who acts out nightmares from his family life as he tries things out. Last week it was a kids' party venue; this week it's worse - he's in a camping shop.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 11th December 2010

It's nice that one of Alexander Armstrong's minor characters, waffling royal correspondent Terry Devlin, has come into his own. Prince William's engagement has resulted in plenty of "royal watchers" filling airtime by blethering away while imparting zero information. None is as hopeless as Devlin, but it's a close thing. And this week, wouldn't you know, he has an actual wedding to cover. Elsewhere there are more hits than misses: the vampires visit a clothes shop to update their wardrobe; there's another one-take wonder from Dennis Lincoln-Park; and stay to the end for a nice flight of fancy imagining the creative process behind a classic piece of wartime propaganda.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 4th December 2010

Not many comedians could get away with spinning a sketch out of the differences between English and French sentence construction, but thankfully Armstrong and Miller aren't afraid to go somewhere a bit wordy and esoteric with their comedy. Awkward collisions between high and low culture, or the old world and the new, are their speciality: this week, their haughty 18th-century Viennese vampires fail to get into a West End club and are forced to go and skulk in Subway, while the slang-spouting Second World War officers attempt to skive off cracking the Enigma code.

Sam Richards, The Daily Telegraph, 3rd December 2010

Good news: tonight sees another outing for the great Dennis Lincoln-Park, beloved art-historian and TV presenter. The joke with Lincoln-Park (apart from the reference in his name) is simple: his hushed pieces to camera about priceless artefacts always end with him trashing them by mistake. Not complex, multilevel comedy, then, but enjoyably daft slapstick. Ben Miller builds the atmosphere beautifully each time, all the more impressive given that the sketches are filmed in one long take - and always end in carnage. This week he introduces us to the first printing press... He's not the only old favourite who's in tonight's show, either. The teenage RAF pilots are back. Somehow they've fetched up in Burma, buried up to their necks in sand ('That Japanese guy was well vexed up with us when we said we wouldn't build his bridge or whatever it is...') Flanders and Swann spoof musical duo Brabbins and Fyffe return, too - the latter with a thriving sideline in selling legal highs to clubbers. And as ever, a lot of people have forgotten to put their bins out...

David Butcher, Radio Times, 27th November 2010

Q&A: Alexander Armstrong

'I have a horrible capacity to be unctuous with people I want to impress'

Rosanna Greenstreet, The Guardian, 27th November 2010

The trouble with sketch shows is that, as they average perhaps 30 gags per episode, they need an almost impossibly large supply of comic energy to keep them from slipping into the doldrums. Ben Miller and Alexander Armstrong are talented, and they do just about keep this show afloat - look out in tonight's episode for a wonderfully handled running joke about a retired pirate now living in suburbia - but it's a long way from the consistent brilliance of Monty Python's Flying Circus or the early days of The Fast Show.

The Daily Telegraph, 26th November 2010

Video: Armstrong & Miller on BBC Breakfast

Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller tell BBC Breakfast where they get the inspiration from for their comedy characters and justify a sketch on their show that makes fun of Breakfast TV.

BBC Breakfast, 24th November 2010

There's one really good, really funny joke here that's not so much a sight gag, more a sound gag. It comes almost at the end and is worth hanging around for. You'll have to sit through some pretty ordinary sketches first, though, including a long-winded sequence involving two boorish, shouty businessmen that owes far too much to Fry and Laurie's Uttoxeter-based executives John and Peter. (And fans of F and L will rejoice in the fact that they are reunited at 9pm this Wednesday on Gold.) The text-a-vicar sketch is fun, though - a cute send up of those soggy text-dating TV adverts. But, alack, tonight there are no Second World War pilots. Shame. Isn't it?

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 20th November 2010

The Second World War pilots with their 21st-century-teen sense of entitlement go shopping for a picnic, though they don't have enough food coupons, and they aren't best pleased with the shopkeeper: "Not giving us what we want is actually against our rights... it might make us experience issues." The pilots are still far and away Armstrong and Miller's most endearing characters, though the suave, elderly vampires are very winning. Tonight they arrange to meet a couple of virgins they ran into at Thorpe Park. Unfortunately, though the rendezvous is awash with celibate young ladies, the lads make a crucial miscalculation. By the way, if you have ever thought it was time that someone took the mickey out of tiresomely enthusiastic al fresco Geordie cooks the Hairy Bikers, meet Flint and Rory, two tiresomely enthusiastic al fresco Geordie cooks.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 6th November 2010

Only some dodgy CGI in the Dennis Lincoln-Park item blemishes 30 minutes of otherwise dependably excellent sketch show fare. The quest of their 19th-century vampires for 21st-century virgin blood takes them to an Alpha Course, there's a running joke involving an over-intrusive HAL-style computer on a moonbase, the RAF boys have a tough time grasping the principle of rationing ("Yeah, but - we want it") but laugh of the week goes to the mounting exasperation of an English geezer trying to explain the meaning of crazy paving to a foreign couple.

The Guardian, 6th November 2010

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